A typical Channel 4 DVD release (much like Spaced or any other C4 sitcom), the DVD release of Black Books has pretty much what you'd expect: it's a region 2 PAL standard DVD, running time 142 minutes, with all the episodes from series 1. Released in 2002, and BBFC classified as '15'.

Episodes & chapters

  1. Cooking the Books
    1. Real Leather
    2. The Accountant
    3. Shape Up
    4. Chances of Survival
  2. Manny's First Day
    1. Run Away
    2. Flip the Sign
    3. A Gap in Accounts
    4. Just Browsing
    5. Minding the Shop
  3. Grapes of Wrath
    1. A Filth Wizard
    2. Nice Arse
    3. In the Cellar
    4. Old Wine is Good Wine
    5. My Legacy
  4. The Blackout
    1. Coffee and Cops
    2. The Night Before
    3. What Happened to You?
    4. Nasty and Nice
    5. Slightly Indiscreet
  5. The Big Lock-Out
    1. Security. Security, Security
    2. Locked Out
    3. Starving
    4. Hardcore Pornography
    5. I'll Come Over
  6. He's Leaving Home
    1. My Rules
    2. Where's Manny?
    3. I Take Pictures
    4. It's Fun
    5. Don't Be Silly

Special features

On first glance, it's a fairly standard set of special features: your standard commentary track, a photo gallery, and trailers for the second series. And out-takes.

The out-takes are what make the DVD, showcasing some true improvisational genius in the face of adversity and complete memory failure; not to mention a couple of bits that had to be clipped for show length.

The Songs

In The Blackout, Bernard slurs out an 'old Irish folk song' while talking to a small boy. The outtakes reveal that this was largely improvised... from the final show:

So, Jim... have I ever told you about the old country? The songs, Jim! Ah they'd melt yer face.

'Oh, I live in a shoe on Moore Street,
I'm a prostitute from Newry...'

Dylan runs through several others in the outtakes, all equally surreal and pointless:

'I live alone in a tree,
I live alone in a tree,
I live alone in a tree,
and nobody loves me.'

'Cows in the morning,
Cows in the morning, 1 2 3
Up and at them,
Up and at them with a pick.'

'I live by the river, with my mother,
In a house.
She washes, I cook,
And we never go out.'

'I'm a simple cow, living a simple life,
But sometimes I feel exploi-ted.
Ireland will never be free until,
I can marry my brother.'

'Oh, I love you Eileen Beag,
I love you Eileen Beag,
I love your feet and your eyes and your face.
I love your knees and your house and your... place,
I love your cows and your mother and your teeth.
I love your cupboards and your loft and your swimming pool,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
Eileen Biogh,
But leave us alone now for the minute.'

Cut from Manny's First Day, this little ditty is performed by Bill as Manny, entertaining customers in Bernard's absence...

Who will buy my books today,
All the authors on display,
Some of Dickens and some of Shores,
Peter Finchely... he wrote Jaws.

Oh who will buy my books today,
"Who's in the books?" I hear you say,
Leopold Bloom and Josef K,
And Bridget Jones.

Who will buy my books today?
"Why read books?" I hear you say.
It's educational and it's fun,
and you get sucked into a whole different world.

Who will buy my books today?
Maybe something a tad outré
Something by obscure women
or something that's not necessarily plot-driven.

Oh who will buy my books today?
Now I'll send you on your way
Before you go, there's just one thing,
We're completely sold out of Lord of the Rings.

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